S2: From activated NLR proteins to defense gene expression: bHLH84 family and class I TGA TFs in defense activation

Christiane Gatz & Xin Li & Yuelin Zhang
PhD student: Jelena Budimir

Pathogen attack leads to major changes in gene expression to favor anti-stress processes over normal cellular functions. The activation or in-activation of pre-existing transcription factors by cellular signaling cascades is a crucial step in this process. In this project, mechanisms that regulate the activity of transcription factor TGA1 will be studied in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.


Preliminary studies implicate that the redox state of TGA1 is regulated by a specific type of glutaredoxins (ROXY9). The project involves the application in vivo and in vitro methods that allow the determination of the redox state, the DNA-binding activity and the protein-protein-interactions of TGA1. The project is done in close collaboration with Prof. Xin Li and Prof. Yuelin Zhang at UBC Vancouver who study the regulation of another transcription factor (bHLH84) which serves to activate the expression of other defense genes.